Friday, March 25, 2011

Aviation: The Next Scam?

The fake pilot license scam is in the news for some days. News reports suggest that this was possible owing to some crooks in the DGCA itself. That doesn’t surprise anyone. There seems hardly any government department that isn’t enjoying its free run on corruption. That is just about breaking. Sometime in November 2010 neither the media nor the then Aviation Minister, Praful Patel, paid much attention but some passenger groups protested the extra-ordinarily high fares being charged by airlines. Fares between metros went up as high as Rs.20000 to Rs.30000. Praful Patel acted only after flyer groups forced him to.

Now this smoothing talking minister is on record calling Nira Radia an ‘economic terrorist’. This was probably in response to her statements about him in the leaked tapes. And this is what she had said: “But he [Patel] has destroyed the sector.....He’s worked as a minister for Naresh Goyal [Jet Airways] and now Vijay Mallya [Kingfisher]. He cannot brush off this charge”. (From Outlook)

Between Nira Radia and Praful Patel you can decide who you want to trust. That Air India has been bleeding and making severe losses is no big secret. One would have thought the Civil Aviation minister would be very concerned and involved in reversing the loss-making trend of Air India. However, since Vayalar Ravi took over the aviation ministry some news reports make alarming reading indeed.

Here are excerpts from an Outlook magazine (March 28) report which make sorry reading:

Killing the Maharaja gently! (From Hindustan Times)
As many as 32 routes, many of them believed to be profitable, have been abandoned by the carrier (Air-India) since 2004. (This includes those run by Indian Airlines and Air India, before they were merged in 2007)Union aviation minister Vayalar Ravi confesses his ignorance of why his predecessor, Praful Patel, would have cancelled profitable routes.....” The report also mentions Air India withdrawing from the busy Bangkok and Singapore routes.

Some union members of Air India have also complained of profitable time slots being shifted while private airlines had better and more profitable time slots. So your guess is as good as mine on who eventually benefitted from the profitable routes vacated by Air India. 

In  Good Times
 It seems the opening up of the economy and allowing private enterprise to take up major domains of previously government held businesses is now the primary source of revenue for political coffers. It is just as well that Praful Patel is out of the aviation ministry. 

Whether she is an economic terrorist or not, Nira Radia does have information and insight that enable her to make the statement she made about Praful Patel. The aviation scams may be just starting to take off!


  1. if there had to be a choice between nira radia and praful patel - radia by a long shot.if only for recognising patel for who and what he is !

  2. Another aviation Scam is about 111 planes Air India has bought for over Rs 40,000 crore starting 2006.

    It is said that CAG has adverse objetions on this deal. The cost of each of the 43 Airbus A-320 family of aircraft and 68 Boeing aircraft ordered by Air India ranges from $37.34 million to $143 million.

    The CAG is also said to have questioned why the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility that was to come up as part of the Indian order has not come up.

    CAG is said to have questioned about the numbers as well as absence of adequate finacial plan to support the same.

    Despite the arrivals of all the planes, market share of AIr India has come down.

    India is on sale...

  3. What about grounding 6 Jumbo Jets (747-400)in 2010? These Jumbos were fully paid off by govt with Indian taxpayer money, they had no debt, no loans on them, fully functional profitable aircraft's..yet retired in 2010. Talk of mismanagement of funds. Other international airlines are all using their Jumbo Jets. Five of these aircraft are being held for use for PM & President. The U.S. which is 3 times larger uses only 2 of air crafts for their President & Vice President. These were all flying profitable routes when they were grounded to accommodate the 111 new aircraft acquisition purchases. One does not need an MBA to figure out how to finish an airline. Play with its cash flow to stop profit making establishments like these Jumbos and Increase debt 100 fold. Such waste of Indian tax money only conceivable in India! Fortunate for politicians that mass in India are still illiterate and middle class distracted by Bollywood and Criket. Jai Ho! We can fly Emirates, Qatar, Ethiad, KLM soon.

  4. As for the life of these Jumbos, they have been only utilized for half their shelf life. On average industry utilizes them for 30 years. AI's have been used for 15years only. Which is nothing for these air crafts. They have a good 15 years of life still remaining.

  5. Guess what!

    who was sitting with Vijaya Cheap mallaya at the Mohalli stadium.

  6. Air India is run by scheduled castes and tribes whose heads have nothing but clay. Its chieftain now is yet another backward class fellow with a backward brain. One look at the check in counter of this airline in the major airports of the country will reveal the inferior stock of Staff that this airline has. Gone are the days when men (women included) with brain and look were handling this airline and through them the nation saw the heights that Air India once commanded in the sky.

    The changing Govts at the Centre milked the airline and let it remain dry. Coalition Govts have everything to gain by allotting different ministries by their own formula to different greedy politicians thereby allowing the partners in crime to loot and empty the coffers.

    The airline is dead long ago. When Govt appoints people like Praful Patel who openly enjoys his lunch, dinner and drinks in the company of rival businessmen, what can you expect? This is the time slot for the Congress led coalition party. May be in 2014, it may be the chance of BJP led coalition. Who knows?

    But whichever party that comes to power then, looting will never stop. We will have another Patel to further screw the airline if by then airindia survives.

    This is the case with all the PSUs, may be with the exception of OIL companies. The PM must appoint Praful Patel as the head of Oil Ministry.

  7. Please follow the series of articles title "Murdering the Maharaja" on my blog exposing corruption in the Ministry of Civil Aviation by Praful Patel.

    Part 1

    Part 2:

  8. CROOKS From UK and Pakistan,There was a airline started in UK in 2007 called UKIA by Khaliq from sheffield, now they have started new scams with his ex employs called Farid Safvi and Tahir Ali, they pretend to be Investor in Aviation and some jobless people who are looking for jobs in Aviation they are taking 1 Lakh rupees and as investment purpase make all fake documents and try to trapp the people intrested in starting up new business. Now their new companies in UK called Tigra group and EABA group. Specially they are targeting to Indian business peoples. I will suggest to you everybody,who ever try to do the business with them make sure do your re-search properly.


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